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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:bluewink2:

Come on guys! I wasn't talking of what all of you are thinking! Obviously!

I am talking of those who use Hemp, Silk, Cotton thread instead of cork around the neck where cork normally goes to receive the mouthpiece. A friend of mine does this and I know that way back it was common practice to use threads of various types on several woodwinds.

Still to this day, double reed instruments players make their own reeds by using the stuff and occasionally some has admitted to that kind of addiction!

I use waxed hemp instead of neck cork. Doesn't require replacing, and is very easily adjustable to any mouthpiece with ease.
sheet rubber instead of most felts and corks. Helps keep the noise down and deals with compression better.
Most of my necks have a brass ring that is soldered onto the end of the neck to keep the cork from sliding forward. *was done at the factory, on my King and Selmers I think*. With no cork on the neck I put a rubber ring on the neck and slide it almost back to the octave pip. I put the mouthpiece with the longest shank on the neck and push it all the way on and roll the ring up to the end of that * if the neck doesn't have a ring at the end, when you start rolling, put the neck against the table so you don't go off the edge.
I take the hemp, and wrap it tightly on the neck from the front end of the neck back to the ring. I continue this until the hemp is about as thick as the cork. take the neck and with slight pressure so you don't bend it, roll it on a tabletop or something to compress the hemp. Stick your mouthpiece on there. If it's too thick, take some off and vice versa. It shrinks a little over time, so you have to add some hemp at various times, but the initial layers last for years.
So are you USING it? And if so, why? Share your experiences!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I forgot this was SOTW and when you start a thread you get a number of people who answer and talk about something else that the thread starter never wanted to talk about.

I am happy for those who have a corking machine and for those who are happy about their corks. They can go about their business and I won鈥檛 be at all bothered by that.

Please, take time to read what I wrote. I will say it again.

No, I am not talking of a botch, temporary, solution for if and when the cork is too thin for your mouthpiece, that is most definitely NOT what I intended to talk about when starting this thread.

I also not wanting to convince anyone who is not convinced by using cork, has a corking machine or has never heard of using thread of whatever type ( not on top of cork to make up for thickness but INSTEAD of cork) directly between neck and mouthpiece.

The PFTE quick fix has nothing to do with this.

Despite the jocular tone of the question, please force yourself to try to stay within the intent of the thread? Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the russian made alto sax that I bought used thread for the neck cork.
Yes, it is indeed something that you see either on very old instruments or you would see this done from people who don't have cork readily available. My friend and teacher Arthur Heuwekemeyer has taken to use this after having found it on one of his Lyrists from the '30.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well, that鈥檚 not what happens with my friend鈥檚 horn and the one played by member SaxPlayer1004 whom I quoted before.

The hemp does compress and requires from time to time that you wind little more on it, but doesn鈥檛 ride up.

I understand that the comments above come from smoking the hemp thread instead of using it for your saxophone! :)


Anyway, again, I don鈥檛 want to convince corkers. This is not a post to push the use thread versus the one of cork.

If you like cork better, please be my guest, keep doing so! However, although I use cork myself and don鈥檛 intend to switch soon, I want to talk about the use of thread with those who do or like the idea of using it.

If you don鈥檛, you don鈥檛 , it is fine with me!

Thanks for understanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That link is about the use of O rings instead of cork.

Apples and oranges and pears?

How is this relevant to what I am asking?

Since it is NOT about the use of hemp thread, or am I missing something ( My French is ok)

 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thanks Bopity Funk nice and relevant information. I'd love to see a video of someone doing what you are talking about on a saxophone neck. I live in hope!

Maybe the binding technique would look a bit like this

 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
nice to hear that you use this technique too ( as Arthur does, I don鈥檛 know who of you was first). Do you do this yourself ? Do you have anyone do it for you?

I would also like to hear if the moisture absorbing qualities of silk and hemp are any different from cotton鈥檚.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I found plumber's tape wasn't that great as it has no compression in it like cork has. I haven't tried the fibres but I would think that they could compress somewhat.
they do and more importantly they expand by absorbing some of the moisture created by condensation.

Again the technique of using different threads to bind woodwind connecting parts is ancient and the purpose if this thread is not to talk about using this as a form of emergency fix (which is what most people would associate with using teflon taper when you want to slap a mouthpiece on a cork that is not thick enough).

I am interested in hearing from those who actually use it .

Thanks, Mark, for the comment of the double function of the binding technique performed on recorders, oboes, bassoons and clarinets ( and also on pipes where the wooden parts are bound too) which includes the function of tightening the fragile end bit in a similar way as a ferrule does.

As for rediscovering or re inventing cold water ( in Italian is hot water).

I appreciate the joke but the fact of the matter is that I am trying to asses something that it is obviously still done by only very few people on saxophone and which tradition is ( as shown by the ignorance about this practice shown here) practically unknown to most ( also those who comment on it without ever having seen it, let alone tried it).

It might not interest us all, but again, participation to this thread is not mandatory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Cheers dogster and are you of the 鈥 using hemp for medicinal purposes鈥 persuasion or do you use it for musical ones? If the latter, how?
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I suspect, from having seen this kind of binding intact on very old instruments, that bacteria reach some sort of homeostatic stage where the resident flora , established earlier on, acts as a barrier for any other bacteria. I have never seen consistent amounts of mould despite the fact that moisture is there all the time.

True, part of the secret might be the different waxes and tallow which people were using on this instruments ( although finding an old vial of tallow in a 100 year old flute, been there done that several times, generally makes your stomach turn) which, in itself, might have some disinfectant properties.

I was very cautious in introducing this topic because of the possible vibrationalist ramifications which is not my intention to hint, propagate or explore!


In my case ( like many other people) If I feel that I have reached a point where I am never going to change my mouthpiece or main saxophones. This solution could be, I think, a nice alternative to cork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
as I have said, my friend and teacher Arthur Heuwekemeijer uses this all the time for a few years now. His mouthpiece, now he uses an Otto Link, ( as shown in the picture published on the previous page) seals just fine.

He found this binding on his Lyrist, a sax from the late '20 ( an obscure French brand which produced very interesting saxophones, Arthur Heuwekemeijer is one of the most informed collectors of this brand he has a couple of dozens of these saxophones) , when he did find it, he thought of using it as it was and he liked the feel and use of it.

Since then he changed a few mouthpieces but kept the basic binding for all of them. Few years have past. The binding hasn't rotted or has started leaking.

Against all the hypothesis of those who say that this can't work, it obviously does!

This is video shot 3 years ago. He already had that sax for a few years. He has updated his mouthpiece several times. In the video he plays a '50 Berg Larsen now he plays the Otto Link which I've shown before. Different mouthpieces same binding instead of cork.


 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I have never inferred this was an 鈥 industry standard 鈥 method!

From the start I knew it wasn鈥檛. I have been in the business of new and old saxophones long enough to know it isn鈥檛.

I just want to explore the possibility among users and if you are not, you are not.

I understood you point which you already made several times, but I am actually interested to hear from users not from nay-ers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
that鈥檚 good thinking Mark.

I would definitely not recommend this to all sorts of people and that includes people who change a lot of mouthpieces for whatever reason and I surely wouldn鈥檛 recommend this to a beginner.

Once you鈥檝e settled on the mouthpiece-horn combination and if you happen to enjoy things like bindings ( steady!.......This is in a forum section open to kids after all :) ) I would certainly think that one might give it a thought.

My friend certainly likes it and if and when the cork on my super 20 will fail I might be definitely giving it a try.

The reason, by then, won鈥檛 be saving the ridiculous amount of money that cork costs for those who don鈥檛 buy lots of it but rather more because I would have done something special to my horn which is one of those custom things that people like doing to objects that they like very much.

There is something more aesthetic to a good binding than even the best cork doesn鈥檛 have. Incidentally I do like the o rings solution which memeber Saxophone Boutique has shown us before , it has aesthetic merits and probably works very well too but I am more into thread binding than I am in o rings.

I guess my rubber fetish is rather low! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Now we are talking.

That is exactly what I meant when starting this thread and after three long pages we have got exactly where I thought from the start that we should be. Someone who can see the merit for both function and form in binding the portion of the neck which is normally covered with cork.

Again nothing wrong with cork, this is just a bit of lateral thinking and could be a much nicer looking part of our saxophones. Mind you, Poet, if you let the Old Man take care of things you might wait a VERY long time indeed because my cork on the Super 20 has been replaced about 4 years ago and doesn鈥檛 show any sign of needing replacement!

It has been judiciously greased ( I have a number of different ones) over time and should it compress too much I occasionally immerse it in some hot water and it pops back into shape , the one on the soprano is maybe one year older and after some initial sanding down it has reached the same conditions of my tenor.

If anyone would care to show us the results of their binding technique I would be very interested to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
another old horn just surfaced on SOTW. It is an Oskar Adler bound with thread instead of using cork. I am sure there are many more out there among pre '30 European horns.

 
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